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Thread: equipment for IFR flight

  1. #1

    equipment for IFR flight

    I am building a Sea Rey and want to equip it for IFR flight since I am an IFR pilot and A&P. My Dynon D180 EFIS/EMS is sufficient for IFR instrumentation to the extent the D180 has the needed instrument functions in it. My plan is to use a certified IFR GPS/COM unit for navigation and communication and a certified transponder. I will also likely have a Garmin 496 or 696 VFR GPS mounted on the dash somewhere. Now for the question. Stepping beyond the minimum requirements supplied by the primary EFIS, what other backup or secondary instruments are people actually using to supplement the EFIS to be able to realistically recover from a primary EFIS failure in IFR conditions. For example, a separate airspeed indicator, altimeter, artificial horizon, etc. It has already been suggested that the Garmin 496 and 696 have a reasonably good primary instrument replication that could be used in an emergency. I have actually flown many practice IFR approaches (in VFR) using the 496 flight instrument page to see how it worked. It worked very well. Truth be told, it was more accurate and easier to follow than the old VOR nav/steam gauge even though it is not IFR "certified". I am very interested in hearing what someone has actually done with comments.
    Thanks
    Terry

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by terrykrummrey View Post
    I am building a Sea Rey and want to equip it for IFR flight since I am an IFR pilot and A&P. My Dynon D180 EFIS/EMS is sufficient for IFR instrumentation to the extent the D180 has the needed instrument functions in it.... what other backup or secondary instruments are people actually using to supplement the EFIS to be able to realistically recover from a primary EFIS failure in IFR conditions. For example, a separate airspeed indicator, altimeter, artificial horizon, etc.
    While the D180 EFIS has both an AI and an Gyroscopic rate of turn indicator built in, they're not independent (if you have a display failure, you lose both). So while it can be argued that from a legal standpoint (91.205), the D180 is sufficient, I'd argue that you want either a separate AI or Turn Coordinator. The 496 MAY be an acceptable substitute, but I'd rather have a gyro instrument (be it mechanical or electronic) vs. a purely GPS based device.

    I have a D10 EFIS and a mechanical TC as a backup (along with a steam gauge altimeter and airspeed indicator). If I were setting up the IP from scratch rather than having it evolve over 14 years, I'd probably put in a Garmin G5 or GRT Mini-EFIS as a backup to the D180. Then you have a full backup panel with ALL required instruments for a reasonable cost, and with a different MFG, no common mode failures (other than power loss). Get the battery backup version and you've got pretty good redundancy in the event of many possible failures.

    My $0.02.

  3. #3
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Actually, there are lots of relatively inexpensive ahrs systems. A battery powered, backup ahrs system wouldn't be a bad backup.

    On the other hand, I am certainly going to recommend you NOT use the 496 for the primary guidance in the soup. While you may feel it superior to a old-school VOR, it's really NOT legal nor even prudent to use it for other than a little situational awareness. Even the more refined GPS paired with foreflight leaves a lot to be desired for approach reliability when being off just a little bit can put you into some solid object.

  4. #4
    FlyingRon,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. However, please re-read my post. Your second paragraph addressed a completely different issue. It sounds like you are proposing that one ignores a fully functioning VFR GPS's information in the face of an emergency in the soup where suddenly all your vacuum instruments including your AI and/or HSI (oops, possibly there goes your certified GPS NAV display instrument as well) then good luck with that. Like I said, I have experienced a vacuum failure in IMC and used my backup electric AI along with the other instruments to get me out safely. What I did not mention was that I also used the primary instrument page on the GPS to temporarily navigate and to cross check everything as a comfort factor. That experience solidified my position of knowing most everything I can about all my information sources and USING them...certified or otherwise. You really don't know what you've got until its gone!
    Last edited by terrykrummrey; 09-12-2016 at 03:24 PM.

  5. #5
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    That is most certainly NEITHER what I said nor what I meant. Using a 496 for a PP backup is foolhardy. I'm not sure I'd use any GPS, let alone an antique like the 496. You'd want something with reasonable either backup gyros or a well-functioning electronic replacement. Once you have a reasonable backup, then you can use your GPS, zoomed up and following the magenta line, as an adjunct, but you're deluding yourself if you think that "panel mode" in the 496 is going to be a safe backup to a dead pfd.

  6. #6
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    I have a 2-screen EFIS (G3X) backed up by a TruTrak Gemini miniature PFD. My autopilot (TruTrak as well) is also stand alone and can operate independently in the event of a total EFIS failure. FWIW I have dual Nav/Com's and typically 5 GPS's (1 IFR (GTN 650) and 4 VFR--2 in the EFIS, my tablet, and my iPhone). Finally I have 3 sources for charts/plates: my EFIS, my tablet, and my phone.
    Todd Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  7. #7
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
    FWIW I have dual Nav/Com's and typically 5 GPS's (1 IFR (GTN 650) and 4 VFR--2 in the EFIS, my tablet, and my iPhone). Finally I have 3 sources for charts/plates: my EFIS, my tablet, and my phone.
    Jeez, I was lucky to have two functioning nav/com radios when I got my IFR ticket.

    terrykrummrey, Marc Z is spot on. I would not rely on any GPS based equipment as a flight instrument standby system. The only comment I will make is to wait until the last possible moment to buy your avionics because the market is quite fluid. I know of a protracted build that has two Blue Mountain EFIS units in it, ever heard of them? Marc Z probably even knows who I'm talking about.
    Jim Hann
    EAA 276294 Lifetime
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    1957 Piper PA-22/20 "Super Pacer"
    Chapter 32 member www.eaa32.org
    www.mykitlog.com/LinerDrivr
    Fly Baby/Hevle Classic Tandem


  8. #8
    Auburntsts,
    Thank you for sharing your information. It is helpful in my research on how to configure my panel for my type of VFR and IFR flying.

  9. #9
    Marc Z, Thank you for sharing your information. It is helpful in my research on how to configure my panel for my type of VFR and IFR flying.

  10. #10
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hann View Post
    Jeez, I was lucky to have two functioning nav/com radios when I got my IFR ticket.

    terrykrummrey, Marc Z is spot on. I would not rely on any GPS based equipment as a flight instrument standby system. The only comment I will make is to wait until the last possible moment to buy your avionics because the market is quite fluid. I know of a protracted build that has two Blue Mountain EFIS units in it, ever heard of them? Marc Z probably even knows who I'm talking about.
    Welcome to the 21st century.-- next you're going to tell us about ADF and 4-course ranges. We've come a long ways since BlueMountain in terms of capability, reliability, and cost.

    in the RV world, at least, my panel is very typical.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 09-13-2016 at 11:16 AM.
    Todd Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

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